With a private charter helicopter already waiting on the grounds of their home in North Wales, it’s clear that Prince William‘s staff and Buckingham Palace are well prepared should Kate go into labor early.
But William, 31, is also surely going over last-minute preparations of his own, to be sure nothing is left to chance when the big day arrives.
Among his priorities:
1. Bring the phone.
Make sure Granny’s number is programmed in. After the couple welcome their baby prince or princess, William will call Queen Elizabeth, his father Prince Charles and his in-laws, the Middletons. Only he and Kate, ensconced in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London, will know the order in which they choose to make the calls. Don’t worry – principal private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton can call the prime minister, and Buckingham Palace will alert the realms around the world.
2. Set the ‘Out of Office.’
Switch on the email notification before dashing out the door. William’s military colleagues at RAF Valley will ensure everything is covered. “There will be tentative plans in place for him to take leave around the time that the birth takes place,” an RAF spokesman tells PEOPLE. “We manage it on a day-by-day basis. We always have people who we can bring in if need be. We are not doing anything special because it is him.” Then follows two weeks of paternity leave. “Some split it and take a week now and then take a week later on,” the spokesman says. “Others like to take slightly more than that, and if that fits into the roster, that’s fine.”
3. Help Kate prepare for motherhood.
Remember what friends advised about the last stage of pregnancy, childbirth and the first days of parenthood. Mummies like Marina Fogle, a friend of Kate’s who runs The Baby Bump classes, may have been among those aiding Kate. “We don’t want to freak mothers out, but we can discuss all the elements of giving birth and tell them what to expect,” Fogle, a mother of two, recently told the Daily Telegraph. “She will be very well looked after.”
4. Quickly skim through Commando Dad.
William is reported to have picked up the book, penned by former commando Neil Sinclair. It’s based on Basic Battle Skills, a field training book issued to British Army recruits. Commando Dad‘s first chapter is “Advanced Party, Preparing Case Camp,” Sinclair says. “It’s about getting your house prepared and getting the things you need in place before the baby ‘trooper’ comes home.” The father of three adds, “I didn’t want new dads to feel as useless as I felt when I was a first-time parent.”
5. Prep the car seat.
The staff should be ready to fit the correct infant car seat – backward facing – into the royal Range Rover, as you can’t legally leave the hospital without the littlest royal properly strapped in. And on the way in, the protection officers can always do the driving, leaving Williams hands free to comfort Kate, make essential calls and nibble those fingernails.
6. Pack the overnight bag.
Kate will have already packed an overnight bag with the essentials. But don’t forget to slip in a camera. They’ll want to have it close by, so they can capture their first moments together as a newly expanded family. Kate is a keen photographer and normally takes the controls of the Canon Powershot G12, but it will be William’s turn to capture many of the momentous, tender moments of the first minutes of family bonding.
7. Don’t forget little Lupo.
Make sure the 18-month-old cocker spaniel is in good hands with Carole Middleton in Bucklebury or with brother-in-law James.
More on the Royal Baby:
• Will & Kate’s Road to Parenthood: Our Countdown Extravaganza!
• Duchess Kate’s Royally Chic Bump
• Perfect Nursery Gifts for William & Kate
• Must-See Royal Baby Souvenirs!
• What Will Kate & William Name Their Baby?